Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Casey Jr. Splash 'n Soak - First Impressions

I was out of town when Casey Jr. Splash 'n Soak first opened, but I got to visit it last week and thought I would share my first impressions:

Wonderful kinetics. Theme park lands benefit from stuff moving around (it's what made Disneyland's Tomorrowland so great, once upon a time), and here the squirting water adds to the spinning Dumbos and the nearby coaster.

Squealing kids. Let's face it: kids love a water playground if it's any good. This one seemed to be extra good, and kid-approved.

Fun for adults. I treated it like a challenge to move around the thing, examining it, but not getting wet. There's enough action and sprays that you can't just run in there, but not so much that give up, either. You treat it like a burglar examines a "laser maze" - learn the timing, pace it, and then jump to the next safe spot. Of course, I lost in the end (and my camera got wet), but that was still part of the fun.

Good tributes and homages. As the author of the WDW Hidden History book, I'm ALWAYS on the lookout for new stuff, and they delivered here! Each circus car has a number on the back: 71, 82, 89, 98. Those are the years the WDW parks opened! The engine is #7, and the merch cart is #9. Why? Because those are the numbers on the Casey Jr engine (for some reason) on the two trains that are used at the Disneyland Casey Jr attraction, which is a real ride.

Roped-off Casey engine. I'd seen pictures of the roped-off engine via fence, and was disappointed. That didn't bother me so much while I was there, oddly. But my friend pointed out to me that there are grab bars and interactive wheels inside the cab, so we think it was designed to be climbed on. Lawyers strike again?

Kevin Yee is the author of numerous independent Disney books, including the popular Walt Disney World Earbook series and Walt Disney World Hidden History.